Indieterria meets Neville Staple

Dear Readers,

Neville Staple is an artist who does not need introduction – a legend, an original Rude Boy and a musician that soudtracked the last four decades for millions of people around the world.  His work with The Specials, Fun Boy Three and Special Beat puts him on the front-lines of 2 tone ska movement. In short, ladies and gentlemen, rude boys and girls – we had a pleasure to speak to Mr Staple about his music, 40th anniversary of ska, charity work and his degree.

The Neville Staple Band – photo by John Coles
http://www.johncolesphotography.com/

We would like to start this interview by congratulating you. On July 10th you were awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Arden University in recognition of your musical career and involvement in the community. Well done Doctor! How do you feel?

Neville Staple: Thank you so much. I feel great actually. I am a rude boy who came up from the street, who found opportunities and ran with them, who realised what talents I could bring to the table and brought them. Its all I had, so I used them. I have had over 40 amazing years in entertainment and music, so to be honoured by a very new and classy university like Arden, is brilliant. With all the awards I have gained over the years with albums, singles and other production work, this is extra special, because it is very personal to me and guys like me, don’t get such things easily, without really stepping up. Yeah, I am very proud.

 It’s the 40th anniversary of The Specials this year. Did you ever imagine when you joined the band that four decades later you will be still making music and touring?

Neville Staple:  Before the Specials I was an entertaining, I won dance competitions, performed with the Ray King Soul Band and toasted lyrics with Messenger and Jah Baddis Sound Systems, so I was always going to have a life in music, I reckon. But I probably wouldn’t have believed I’d still be making music, producing albums and soundtracks, or touring the world, all these years later. It’s great and keeps me young!

Neville and Sugary Staples – photo by John Coles
http://www.johncolesphotography.com/

2Tone Ska movement are credited with defusing racial tensions in Thatcher- era Britain by mixing reggae and punk. Music journalists rightly point out that even the chequered patterns used by the movements (black and white squares) symbolized the unity felt by musicians at that time. It’s hard not to draw parallels between that period and “hostile environment” now. Do you think music can again heal the divided society in the times of Brexit?

Neville Staple:  One of my recent songs, “Put Away Your Knives” has led to a lot of people coming forward and looking at more solutions to knife crime. People contact my wife Sugary and me about the issues they face, or the projects they want to set up and lots of other stuff.  So, if that is the power of just one song, then yes, I do believe that we can always make a difference, through music. “Politician Man”, “The Border” and “Road Block” on recent albums, also caused a lot of dialogue with fans, who recognised issues from their own lives, or communities or from the news. Even “Way of Life” was written about our friends who sat in a bar, having a drink, when the Borough Market and London Bridge ‘terror attacks’ took place. That song is about their night of dread and the conversations that took place afterwards, among families and friends. I still prefer to address society through my music.

Your friends in The Specials took on the current politics and Windrush scandal in a song “Vote for me” with bitter words about tearing families apart. You also seem to tackle that issue. In a video to your single “Return of Judge Roughneck” you and the band are seen in the dock for “serious crimes”. You also re-recorded one of your old hits “Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum” and it sounds like it was written yesterday. Do you see yourself as a political commentator or rather as an artist holding the mirror to society?

Neville Staple:  Mostly an artist holding a mirror to society, but perhaps a little bit of both. Judge Roughneck definitely knows a lot about what is wrong in society and especially about those who exploit or hurt others. So, he condemns them all (could be politicians, bankers or violent attackers), but because his hands are tied (or maybe he colludes), the guilty do not get properly punished, they get probation! So, they are still free to do what they do. That is definitely a mirror of the society that I see every day.

You work very closely with your wife and manager Christine Sugary Staple. She supports you on tour and you appeared with her on the “Rude Rebels” album. Many people would fear being business partners with their significant others. You seem to enjoy it. What’s your secret?

Neville Staple:  Being soul mates is the secret. She is my right arm. She has been there through good and bad, happy and sad. She is the heart, strength and support to all what I do, and I try to be the same to her, and she manages the band and me. We worked on Rude Rebels together and she is so talented in the studio, that is easy to work with her, and she did a lot of work on my other recent albums and singles. We also have great fun on the road. She is an original rude girl so knows how to deal with an original rude boy (laughs) Perfect match!

 All though your career, you had a chance to work and perform alongside the biggest names in the industry: The Clash, David Byrne, The Go-Gos and even Bananarama. If we can ask you to name an artist you never got a chance to meet or collaborate with. Who is “the one that got away”?

Neville Staple:  Following Amy Winehouse’s appearance beside me on stage, which was brilliant, we then looked at plans to do some recordings. I was gutted that I never had the chance to do it. But out of today’s current artists, I still love to mix up different genres and the rough with the smooth, so I would like to meet and work with Bastille, to do a sweet and cool, driving track, with a rude spin; or definitely with Stormzy, to do something edgy and catchy, deep and inspiring. We could let people see that elders and young people can unite and create great things together. A show of unity and respect, with an important message. Yeah, good things!

The Neville Staple Band – photo by John Coles
http://www.johncolesphotography.com

After leaving The Specials, you reinvented yourself as a solo artist. Recently, you have been touring successfully with your own assemble, The Neville Staple Band. Can you please introduce your band members to us? Who’s joining you on stage?

Neville Staple:  To be honest, I have never not had a solo career of some kind, in over 40 years. And the Neville Staple Band actually celebrates its 15-year anniversary this year. I put some of my own band tours on hold, when I did the most recent 2009–2012 reunion with the Specials (there have been at least 3 reunions with recorded albums and tours over the years), but I was still doing NSB shows in-between the Specials tours too. I have also always done DJ shows too, since my sounds system days. And before the Neville Staple Band 15 years ago, I had Neville Staple and The Hitmen, and Special Beat, Today’s Specials, plus the Legends of 2Tone Band, that I fronted and toured all over with. I have never not had a solo career or other collaborations going on.

My current band has Sugary up front with me on vocals, doing some lead and some backing; Joe Atkinson on both keys and piano, Sledge Armstrong on bass, Matty Band on drums, Billy Shinbone on guitar, Spencer Hague on trombone and Drew Stansall on Saxophone. These guys are the best. True and loyal friends too.

 Your newest single “Put Away Your Knives” could easily be classified as a protest song about the epidemic of knife crimes sweeping through urban areas such as London, Birmingham or Sheffield. The song is dedicated to your grandson, Fidel Glasgow who tragically lost his life in 2018. The song will collect funding for Victim Support. Can you tell us more this track?

Neville Staple:  It is a protest song. It is a song to say enough now. Enough! Someone has to say it like it is. Stop running around with knives, stop killing each other. Think of your future. One day you could become a dad yourself. Who the hell are your kids going to look up to? You there? You with the big knife hidden in your clothes? I don’t think so! Or you over there, yeah you – the guy who just shot a 17-year-old kid, because the kid upset the puppet master from your endz! It has gone too far! Everyone needs to step on it. My wife Sugary says, every parent, every school, every auntie, uncle, grandparent, politician, neighbour and local organisations, need to step up and get involved. If everyone took a stand and said ENOUGH NOW, ENOUGH, and did their bit to make a change, no matter how small, in their own community or family, we could win this. Don’t just wait for it to happen to you or near you. Stamp it out before it does. People are left devastated, with too many parents and grandparents are burying their young families. We have to make a stand now.

Neville Staple 1 – photo by John Coles
http://www.johncolesphotography.com

 “Put Away Your Knives” and your other recent single “Working Hard Everyday” were mixed and engineered by Tom Lowry at Planet Studios in Coventry. Tom has worked with, from the legendary Kumar Sanu, to Spectrum and the Specials. How do you remember working with him? It must have felt like visiting an old friend.

Neville Staple:  Tom and I have been great friends for so long. We worked together from when we first set up studio space. I had a record label of my own and I used to produce artists at Tom’s studio back in the late 80’s onwards. It was there that we produced Johnny Zee, Stereo Nation (aka Tarzam Singh) and Lieutenant Pidgeon. We have never stopped working together and being friends. I even flew Tom over to the States in the 1990’s, when I was over there recording and producing, to help me with some of my engineering and production work. Even now, with both Tom and Sugary in the studio with me, it`s like a night out with great friends, where you all support each other and just get on really well. He’s like family to me.

 You are shortly due to hit the road that will take you all over the UK. What can we expect from your newest shows?

Neville Staple: I will be performing my hit songs with the Specials and classics from my career.
I always have a party with the fans. They love to sing along, jump, skank and stomp with us. No two shows are the same and they are not like being sat at home with an MP3 on. What’s the point of that? We prefer to make each show energetic and individual to match the audience on the night. We could be performing a show with thousands, or a smaller venue with hundreds, but will still give them the best night ever. Come and see!

The last questions at Indieterria are always a bit of fun. You are the original Rude Boy and we have to ask – if you could do one naughty thing and never get caught, what would it be?

Neville Staple:  I would steal back all the rights to my own song writing that I unwittingly signed away to others many years ago, or I would hack the tax system and give every hard-working individual, a 10- year full tax rebate!! (laughs)

Neville Staple – photo by John Coles
http://www.johncolesphotography.com

You can follow Neville Staple on socials:

http://www.originalrudeboy.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/NevilleStapleBand
https://twitter.com/NevilleStaple
https://www.instagram.com/originalrudeboy1/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLdTZw3peRaUrjwrckSps8Q
https://open.spotify.com/artist/3cpVKY88BdRzsgWf5mHaUo?si=W0LYHYmTRj-BhgduTKDn2Q

We would like to thank to Mr Staple for his time and to Shauna McLarnon of Shameless Promotion PR for making arrangements.

Love,

M/R

Indieterria Reviews – “Remainder” by Trupa Trupa

Dear Readers,

It is with the greatest of pleasures that we present you today’s review. For the first time ever, Indieterria is hosting a band from Poland! And they are, in our opinion, one of the best bands to come out of our native country in many years.

Trupa Trupa has been present on the international market since the release of their debut album in 2015. Musically, they are closer to Fugazi and experimental shoe gaze mixed with wild psychedelic rollercoaster. This year Trupa Trupa played Off Festival and SXSW where they received rave reviews from Chicago Tribune, NPR and Rolling Stone!

Official bio: Trupa Trupa are Grzegorz Kwiatkowski, Tomek Pawluczuk, Wojtek Juchniewicz and Rafal Wojczal. They made their first international appearance in 2015 with the album “Headache” published by a British label Blue Tapes and X-Ray Records. A year later, they signed to French Ici d’ailleurs, where they released a remastered version of “Headache” on vinyl. In 2017, in cooperation with their British and French labels, the band recorded and put out “Jolly New Songs”, which was also published by the Japanese label Moorworks. In recent years, Trupa Trupa have toured extensively, playing at the SXSW, Primavera Sound, Iceland Airwaves, Colours of Ostrava, Waves Vienna, Eurosonic, Liverpool Sound City, to name just a few. In February, 2019 the band released a single “Dream about” via Sub Pop Records. The new album “Of The Sun” will be international cooperation between Glitterbeat Records (Europe & elsewhere), Lovitt Records (USA), Moorworks (Japan) and Antena Krzyku (Poland). Release date: September 13th, 2019. The band works with Paradigm Talent Agency in North America, South America, Asia, & Australia and ATC Live for Europe, and will promote the new album with tours in the USA, Europe and Japan.

Wojtek Juchniewicz by Steve Hampson

Their single “Remainder” is KEXP’s song of the day and received a solid airplay on BBC through Stuart Maconie, Gideon Cole and Tom Ravenscroft. The band has been mentioned or interviewed in Rolling Stone Magazine, Pitchfork, Wire Magazine, Clash Magazine and many others.

We have sat down with Grzesiek Kwiatkowski, the singer and guitarist of the band to speak about the new song, his fear of people and why discussing history is so important in times of social divide.

Please introduce yourself to the readers of Indieterria.

Grzegorz Kwiatkowski: My name is Grzegorz Kwiatkowski. I am the singer and guitarist of Trupa Trupa.

Trupa Trupa by Steve Hampson

Where are you based and who is in the band?

 Grzegorz Kwiatkowski: Trupa Trupa is based in Gdańsk, in the north of Poland. Except for myself, the band consists of Rafał Wojczal (guitar/keyboards), Tomek Pawluczuk (drums) and Wojtek Juchniewicz (bass guitar, guitar and vocals).

Tell us something about your new single “Remainder”? Is there any story behind it?

Grzegorz Kwiatkowski: Everything we do can be interpreted in many different ways that’s why there isn’t a single story behind this song. Wojtek wrote the lyrics so his interpretation of “Remainder”, his idea behind this track, is not the same as mine. I’m not even sure if I truly understand what inspired him to write it. I can only tell you what it means to me personally. And I think, when people start listening to the song, they realize it is a protest against denial, against conveniently forgetting about things that happened in the past. It is a song about Shoah (Holocaust), about human catastrophe.

Trupa Trupa (again) by Steve Hampson

Where did you record the song? Was it in your home town of Gdansk (Poland) or somewhere else?

Grzegorz Kwiatkowski: The song was recorded, along with our entire album “Of The Sun”, in Custom 34 recording studio in Gdansk.

The song comes with a black and white video that looks like it was filmed through a telescope. Can you tell us where it was shot and who directed it?

Grzegorz Kwiatkowski: The video to “Remainder” was directed by Nick Larson but Aleksander Makowski helped him a lot on the set so it’s rather a cooperation between the two of them. I have discussed the meaning of the song with them before the shoot and they seem to agree with my interpretation. The video too tells the story of a humanitarian disaster.

Are you touring? Where can we see you playing live?

Grzegorz Kwiatkowski: Yes. We work with ATC Live and Paradigm Talent Agency so we are really in great hands when it comes to touring. This fall, we will play in America, Great Britain, France, Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands and Poland. So far, we have booked four shows in the UK: in London (Sebright Arms on 27th of September), Brighton (The Hope & Ruin on 2nd of December), Glasgow (The Hug and Pint on 4th of  December) and Leeds (Hyde Park Book Club on 5th of December).

You can purchase tickets online:
London: https://www.songkick.com/concerts/38535964-trupa-trupa-at-sebright-arms
Brighton: https://www.songkick.com/concerts/38990036-trupa-trupa-at-hope-and-ruin
Leeds: https://www.songkick.com/concerts/38982813-trupa-trupa-at-hyde-park-book-club
Glasgow: tickets available soon

Your new album “Of The Sun” will be released in September through Glitterbeat Records (Europe & elsewhere), Lovitt Records (USA), Moorworks (Japan) and Antena Krzyku (Poland). What can we expect on the record?

Tour poster

Grzegorz Kwiatkowski: Each song we put on the album is open to individual interpretation. For me, the record feels like a “Samuel Becket Lonely Hearts Club Band”. It is about time and nothingness. It deals with social issues on “Remainder”. And it is important to talk about these things. You see, few month ago, we wouldn’t be speaking about politics, but the mayor of Gdansk, Pawel Adamowicz, was murdered by a person radicalized by a right-wing hate speech. It was a huge shock for the entire country but it particularly strongly affected us. Gdansk is a city of freedom, (this is where the Solidarity movement started – Vandian Avenue), so the shock was even bigger. The band is now more aware of how the world around us has changed in the last couple of years, how bad it really became. We almost felt the history knocking on the door of our rehearsal room. I dedicated our SXSW shows to our murdered president.

I have always been rather afraid of people so that hasn’t changed. But now I realize, we live in a crazy, fucked-up Brexit-Trump times. Our reality has always been cruel and a lot has been done to cover up the brutality and violence. In the past however, people were more pretending, they wore masks. They were hiding their intentions. And suddenly, they feel empowered to say whatever they want. They do things in the most egoistic ways. Not all of them, but many do. They dont care about others. I feel this is a very risky situation. Evil can spread around faster than ever.

New single “Remainder”:
https://idol.lnk.to/Remainder

Tour: 
https://www.facebook.com/trupatrupa/photos/p.2530909726960137/2530909726960137/?type=1&theater

You can follow Trupa Trupa on socials:
http://www.trupatrupa.com/
https://www.facebook.com/trupatrupa/
https://twitter.com/trupatrupaband
https://www.instagram.com/trupa_trupa/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCafPyfB3DfnALknzO4NMYCw

Articles:
https://soundcloud.com/trupa-trupa/david-fricke-of-rolling-stone-about-new-album-and-remainder-on-siriusxm
https://rockandrollglobe.com/shoegaze/trupa-trupa-coming-to-america/
https://www.gigwise.com/news/3329600/watch-trupa-trupa-share-video-for-new-song-longing
https://www.clashmusic.com/features/dreams-and-reflections-trupa-trupa-interviewed

“Of The Sun”, Trupa Trupa’s new album will be released in September and we will be reviewing it as soon as it gets into our hands.
You can preorder your copy now fom Bandcamp:
https://trupatrupa.bandcamp.com/album/of-the-sun

The band is also working hard at adding new dates to their UK tour so keep your eyes open for possible gigs in Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol and Birmingham!
We would like to thank Steve Hampson for his beautiful pictures taken during band’s rehearsal in Gdansk in July.

Support your (international) scene!
XXX
Rita and Malicia

Indieterria meets Bexatron

Dear Readers,

They are one of London`s best kept secrets, a band that took classic rock influences and dragged them into XXI century. Holding to their DIY ethos with pride, their amps turned up to 11 and writing songs that will make you shake your booty – Bexatron offer you a whole package of rock and roll fun.  You will not regret this ride. Get on! We sat down with Greg Radcliffe to speak about their beginning, gruelling recording sessions and touring Canada.

 

Band logo

Your bio introduces you as “an octane pop punk with a glam coat” from the heart of London. What an intriguing way to describe a band! Please tell our readers who is in Bexatron and how did the group start?

Greg Radcliffe:  Bexatron consists of BeXXX on vocals, Belle Star on drums, Adam Adorjan on bass and me on guitar. I had been for looking for a singer to front a band which eventually became Bexatron for months. I bumped into BeXXX in Bruno’s Cafe in Soho in London.

I thought she looked the business and asked if she could sing. She said yes. The rest is history. I knew the boys already so when they heard her sing, they jumped in.

 The band has been compared to rock greatest (Blondie, Joan Jett, The Pretenders) and lauded for bringing uncompromising rock with a charismatic female leader back to the frontlines. God knows we missed it.  Do you see yourselves as saviours of rock from repetitiveness and mediocrity?

Greg Radcliffe:  We’re not saviours. We are more pioneers of a genre of music that we like. Putting our own slant on it. We are constantly avoiding repetitiveness and mediocrity. I would say 75% of what we do ends up on the cutting room floor.

Bexatron live – photography by Tosh Marshall
https://www.facebook.com/ToshMarshallPhotography/

 Bexatron has released their debut album “Hey You” in December 2018 and a stand-alone single “Dirty Disco”. One of the things being mentioned in every review is how the records brings generations of guitar music fans together. It`s like you found a secret formula between classic rock antics while sounding fresh and appealing for young audience. What`s your secret?

Greg Radcliffe: There’s no secret (laughs) You hit the nail on the head. All the aforementioned artists, we have been disciples of. We are just spreading the word through our own interpretations. I guess that what keeps it fresh.

 In an interview for Vents Magazine you described the recording sessions as demanding and not without difficulties. Tell us where “Hey You!” was created and how do you manage to face gruelling recordings with such energy and positivity? 

Greg Radcliffe: “Hey You!” was created in Soho, Kilburn, Hackney, Barcelona. The recording was gruelling but we thought to stick to our guns and make the record ‘WE’ wanted. It could have easily ended up on X Factor. Underneath the songs are basically pop songs. However, we didn’t want that one-minute wonder sound. We’re here to stay.

You are now back with a new single “I`m Trash” – an angry track directed at the modern life and how powers that be can make us feel small and insignificant.  Where did the inspiration for the track come from?

Greg Radcliffe:  We wouldn’t say “I`m Trash” is an angry song. It’s reflective of, as you mentioned, modern day life and the society we live. The song like the whole album is pretty much based around London past and present.

Bexatron live shows are legendary – audience dancing, singing lyrics back at the band (in a slightly off-key manner) and generally having good fun. You just recently smashed it at Camden Rocks. How was it to play a home coming gig?

Greg Radcliffe: Camden is our spiritual home. It`s always nice to play to a packed Camden Assembly at 2 pm on the hottest day of the year.

The band is soon off to play your first tour of Canada. It seems like a natural step considering the amount of radio airplay you received there. What can your overseas fans expect from your shows?

Greg Radcliffe:  I think our audience in Canada expect to see the fourth dimension. So far, they have heard it from their radios or phones and seen it on TV screens. Now they are going to get the real deal up close.

Bexx in her element – photography by Tosh Marshall
https://www.facebook.com/ToshMarshallPhotography/

Talking about support from radio stations. Amazing Radio has been championing you a lot these days.  So does BBC Introducing. Do you have any DJs that were instrumental for your career that you would like to give a shout out to?

Greg Radcliffe: All’s been pretty grass roots radio wise. We need to mention Spizz on Resonance Radio, Peter Fox on Foxy Radio, Dave Renegade on Dark Hearts of Camden Radio, Gwen Ever on Deal Radio and Stuart Clack on The Premium Blend Radio. There’s many more, but the reason we’ve given them a shout is that they have all been to our gigs, not just spun our tune.

When all the touring obligations are completed, and you have some time for yourselves – do you plan to take longer holidays or rather just bury yourself in the studio again?

Greg Radcliffe: No holidays, we will just keep on promoting “Hey You!” through till festival time 2020. You can expect our next offering in October 2020. As we’ve already said 75% of our stuff ends up on the cutting room floor, but we’ve already got a fair whack done and start shaping it up when we get back.

Last (in)famous question – imagine that you can play any legendary venue in the world for your most dedicated fans. Where do you take them?

Greg Radcliffe:  Hammersmith Odeon in London.
Bexxx:  CBGBS in New York.
Adam Adorjan: Madison Square Garden in New York.
Belle Star: The Rounhouse in London.

The band live on stage – photography by Graham Hearn https://www.facebook.com/graham.hearn.9

You can follow the band on socials:

https://www.bexatronuk.com/
https://www.facebook.com/bexatronlive/
https://twitter.com/_BEXATRON
https://www.instagram.com/bexatron_ukofficial/
https://soundcloud.com/bexatron_london
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvDY-TyjsmRspVwYDI74MSg
https://open.spotify.com/artist/2vKP9JrDVQyfNroiqCdAkk?si=w_I3B9K_SMepx-vjmC4zAA

Big thank you to Greg Radclife for agreeing to this interview and to Mimi Brock-Stark of Lander PR for making necessary arrangements.

Shall we meet again on the blog for more kick ass music talk? You bet.

M/R

Indieterria meets Joseph Murray

Dear Readers,

Some time ago we had a pleasure and privilege to speak to Gavin Monaghan, the founder of legendary West Midlands` studios – Magic Garden. The interview proved so popular that we were asked to go back and write some more about the studio and its personnel.  And we are happy to oblige. Part of what we do at Indieterria is to highlight the assets that young and up and coming bands have at their disposal. And nothing is more essential than a good recording studio and talented producers/engineers. Bands, artists and those of you who one day plan to produce albums professionally – please meet Joe Murray. He is one of the best engineers in the country and he has a lot of incredible things to say about working with musicians, mixing and making the magic happen.

If that is not the best interview we did this year then we don`t know how to do interviews.

Joe Murray at work

You are second in command at the iconic Magic Garden Recording Studios.  Please introduce yourself to readers of Indieterria.

Joseph Murray: Hey everyone. My name is Joseph (Joe) Murray and I’m here to try to answer these wonderful questions and hopefully not bore y’all to deathhh!

Gavin Monaghan – the owner of  Magic Garden described you as a man of many talents. You act as engineer, producer and mixer. You and Gavin work very closely with each other. How do you divide the workload on a regular day in the office?

Joseph Murray:  That is very kind of him as always. One of my favourite things about music is that there is no such thing as a regular day, which keeps things exciting and creative! I think due to how long and how closely we’ve worked together on mountains of records, we’re able to share the workload in various different ways to get the best out of the track and the band. So here’s a rough example of working with a random 3-4 piece band:

Step one: The Band shows up and before anything we have a look around and a general chat. The main thing is putting the band at ease and trying to make sure everyone`s comfortable and “vibing”. The band`s music is massively important and the recording will live forever,  so of course there can be a few nerves here and there.  I try to make sure the band knows I’m on their side and their music means as much to me as to them!

Step two: After all the gear is loaded in and coffees have been made, we’ll all gather in the control room and have a talk about the song and the vision for the track. It`s crucial to get an idea of where we’re heading.

Step three: Once we’ve discussed the in’s and out`s and any ideas on how we should track the record, there’ll be a little bit of mind reading between Gavin and myself and I will head next door to the live room with the drummer to get a better idea of what kit they are using. Whether they can use studio`s various shells or maybe they’ve brought their own or perhaps they just got their prize snare. I’ll then give all the drums a tune which is HUGELY important and often overlooked! The drummer and myself will have a nice in-depth chat about what they like and we will find two, maybe three snares to narrow it all down.

Step four: When we’re hearing everything back through the mics, we’ll then move on to start tracking against the vibey guide track Gavin and the rest of the band have put together.  We’ll do this till we’ve got the “magic” and then I’ll spend a little while putting together the best of each take whilst the band get some sustenance or a nap.

Step five: Then it’s time for the big bad BASS, which 9 times out of 10 we will capture through a high quality direct signal and an amp for vibe. Having the direct signal means that when we’ve wandered into guitar land, we can re-amp the direct bass through various oddities and balance the mid-range against the real guitars.

Step six: And speaking of guitars – another bit of mind reading takes place and Gavin dons the chef`s hat and starts crafting the bands melodic elements. At this point,  I`ll take what we’ve got so far into my mix room and start doing some session file housekeeping so that once Gavin has tracked the rest of the musical components it`s a matter of bringing it all together. From here I’ll start working on my Mix! Every day is completely different: some days I’m producing an electronic artist in one room and Gavin is recording an acoustic songwriter next door and on other occasions I’m mixing an album whilst Gavin’s producing vocals for another project. Every sessions is different so I’m open and ready for most anything (animal attacks included).

Joe worked with many established acts – here in the picture he is shown with Paper Buoys

About two months ago we interviewed  Gavin himself and he mentioned that the studio was being refurbished. Can you update us on the progress of the works? How does Magic Garden grow?

Joseph Murray:  The studio is always changing and growing, which again keeps things fresh we’re always on the hunt for the next big thing or a mysterious hidden gem.

At the moment, we’re putting focus on the benefits of a hybrid approach so far as getting the most out of the computer whilst also squeezing out the analog goodness of the hardware units. The main room is centred around two different analog consoles from two different eras to give us options and choices, when it comes to different genres or bands or even song by song.

One of the desks is a vintage 70’s German broadcast, which gives us great clarity, punch and in general just makes most things sound a little more lively. Then to the side, we’ve got a fantastic gem of a 60’s British desk which again gives us vibe, colour and some nice, rich saturation.

We’ve also got a stock of various preamps – for even more flavours. I find that if you can get the recording chain working WITH the sound from the start, life is just easier later. They’re all tools, like paintbrushes – some are great for huge broad tonal strokes and others are better for fine movements and just a little bit of highlighting.

Meanwhile in the “B” Room, we’ve focused on the finishing side of projects and put the emphasis again on a hybrid approach focusing on the summing side and making sure that the hardware used is as flavourful as possible. In both rooms we’ve got matched monitors to make it easier to transition projects and maintain the same vibe and vision. There’s also a vast microphone collection ranging from the standards to the weird and wonderful and that floats between the rooms

What we are trying to do via this blog is to highlight options available for people who want to break into the music business. And we not only mean artists or bands, but also future technical experts: producers and sound engineers. Judging from your experience –  if somebody wants to find themselves on the other side of the mixing desk – where should they do?

Joseph Murray:  I can obviously only speak for myself and my own experiences, so my advice would be… you should be prepared to work hard (and long) and make sure you love music. Luckily music is so multifaceted and there are so many moving parts that I guarantee there are jobs you’ve never even heard of.

I’ve always thought that the technical side of the recording process can come second and will be worked on for years and years and years… So as long as you’ve got the attitude and decent taste you’re onto a winner. I would also say to remain open minded, you could walk in wanting to be the producer but find that you actually enjoy the engineering side more or even the sound design aspect. Be fearless-ish.

Prepared for any weather.

What are the do`s and don’ts of your profession. If you were to pen a list of helpful and unhelpful habits of studio personnel, what would you include?

Joseph Murray:  I think that attitude is probably one of the most important aspects to studio life. It’s long days, usually all in the same room. You’re dealing with people and it`s important that they know you’re on the same team and you only want what`s best for the song at the end of the day. Being able to write a good clear track sheet is always helpful, making (good or bad) coffee is always appreciated, in fact make lots of coffee. Take notes, ask questions, listen to  e v e r y t h i n g .

For don’ts – each studio or professional will have a different view on what not to do but my main one is don’t make mine or anyone else in the rooms life harder and that`s about it.

You have been instrumental in creating one of our favourites albums of last year – “Columbia”  by The Blinders. Tell us more about the recording process behind this record? Was it easy to work on it? Or maybe it was a truly dystopian experience?

Joseph Murray:  That`s great to hear and thank you very much! It was a brilliant album to be a part of for many reasons. Firstly, I lurvve the guys and they’re great to just hang out. Secondly the songs were top notch and they’re performers through and through, which makes creating an exciting record a joy. The process for the album wasn’t too out of the ordinary and just felt organic. They’re a band with a collective vision and unwavering commitment to get to it. They each know what they like and what they want whilst also being collaborative and open to suggestions and guidance. We were able to develop the songs in such a way that I reckon got the best out of everyone!

A parent shouldn’t have favourites but we need to ask  – which album you worked on so far is your pride and joy?

Joseph Murray: (laughs) Well I try to make whatever I’m working on at the moment be my favourite. I like the idea that for the time the band are in the studio with me I join them as an auxiliary member and in doing so it’s not about a personal ego or a personal preference, it`s about collaboration and doing your best for the band. We’re Family!

There are records I’m proud to been part of because of their musical or emotional significance, there are records I’m proud of because of my input and contribution and records that I’m proud to be part of because of the experience, so I wouldn’t say I have a favourite. It`s like being part of all of these different little tribes!

Besides working in the studio, we have seen you delivering am impressive stand up comedy sets at Musicians Against Homelessness gig in Birmingham in April. Was it one off or have you been doing it for a while now?

Joseph Murray: Ah, well thank you very much! That was actually my first set. I’ve never considered myself a stand up comedian, just a guy who spouts various amounts of nonsense and likes to hear people laugh. It was for a very good cause and as I’m a musician who is most definitely against homelessness how could I say no! If you’re also a musician who is against homelessness, I suggest having a look into what Musicians Against Homelessness do!

Joe Murray delivering stand up comedy set at Musicians Against Homelessness gig in Birmingham. Photo by Annie Monaghan
https://www.facebook.com/annie.monaghan.984

Every sound engineer have their favourite tools to use. What piece of equipment you just have to have at hand?

Joseph Murray: I often will rant about how you can make a record anywhere using anything because it’s the songs that matter and a good song will always be a good song. That being said, it’s nice to have the luxury of your favourite tools and it`s more often a question of what you’re comfortable using. The most important thing for me is my ears and monitors. Everything else is a bonus. My desert island bag would probably have in it a particular snare we’ve acquired that I don’t know much about other than it sounds incredible and seems to just balance the rest of the kit really nicely! Not to compare myself to Van Gogh but if he didn’t have his favourite brush I reckon he’d still paint a masterpiece.

We know that working with Gavin is a dream come true – he is the Wizard of Wolverhampton after all. However, let’s pretend you can work with any other producer (alive or dead) on any album in existence. Who do you choose to collaborate with and what’s the title of the record?

Joseph Murray: I feel that music is always changing and evolving and growing, so I struggle to pick a favourite album or producer. There are thousands of records that I would love to be part of. Some albums that come to mind straight away are the Berlin era recordings by David Bowie, especially “Heroes” produced by Tony Visconti whilst Brian Eno and Iggy Pop were hanging around too. That would of been an experience, especially seeing Tony recording Robert Fripp creating melodic feedback just by walking around the room.

I also think being with Nigel Godrich recording “OK Computer” would of been amazing, to be at the genesis of this new turn in modern music.

There are so many more – Bob Marley`s “Exodus” (not just for the weather), The Beach Boys` “Pet Sounds”, Marvin Gaye`s “What`s Going On”, Wu-Tang Clan`s ”36 Chambers”, Beastie Boys` “Ill Communication” and of course Fleetwood Mac`s “Rumours”.

Thank you very much for talking to us!

Joseph Murray: Thank you so much for your brilliant questions and I hope my answers made some sort of sense! Keep It Loud and One Love.

You can follow Joseph Murray on the socials:

https://www.facebook.com/josephjosephmurraymurray
https://www.instagram.com/josephjosephmurraymurray/

And Magic Garden Recording Studios can be found here:

https://www.facebook.com/MagicGardenRecordingStudio/
https://twitter.com/MagicGardenUK
https://www.instagram.com/magicgardenstudio/

There is an awesome playlist that showcases all the recordings made at Magic Garden on Spotify:

Yeah we know, we are so lucky to have such incredible studio in West Midlands and people like Joe and Gavin to take care of all the local (and not so local) artists. If you look for a place to bring your art to life – please get in touch with Magic Garden.

R/M

Indieterria Review – “97/91” by The Battery Farm

Dear Readers,

If you spent more than five minutes on social media in the last two years, chances are that you have seen this viral quote on how David Bowie kept the universe together. The Starman`s gone and everything is coming apart at the seams.

Band`s logo

It`s hard to deny that we are going through some very dark days and finding hope may seem like an impossible task. But we believe that there is a force out there that is much stronger than bombs, violence or any orange impostor (or his blond counterpart) in office. That force is art/music and we have plenty of incredible artists among us who do an excellent job at repairing the fabric of universe and keeping us all sane.

The beauty of art is that anyone can make it and you don`t have to have top 40 albums to contribute significantly to the eternal quest of balancing cosmic powers.

We want you to meet a brand new band that we recently discovered, who are incredibly apt at channelling the internal anxiety felt nowadays and providing sonic catharsis to listeners. They are called The Battery Farm and come from our favourite place on Earth – Manchester.  Their debut single “97/91” is a powerful anthem of thundering drums, heavy guitars and haunted vocals.  It fits perfectly in the new emerging genre of post punk revival, mixing semi spoken vocals with musical fury. The song will prove ideal both in the mosh pit or in the gym and fans of Idles, Bambara, Sons and Avalanche Party should pay closer attention.

But there is more to The Battery Farm than soundtracking the moment. Its the way they speak in the interviews, how they respect and champion other artists, their ethics. We sat down with their lead singer Benjamin Corry for an interview and the first thing he tells us is that kindness is magic.  Among all the new bands that blow their own trumpet and proclaim that they are new Oasis, how absolutely amazing is to hear that there are artists who have a different approach to life.

This is our entire conversation with The Battery Farm. Worth reading. Every. Single. Word.

Please introduce yourself to the readers of Indieterria.  Where are you based and who is in the band?

Benjamin Corry:  Hello! We are The Battery Farm, a doom punk band from Manchester playing vicious, guttural punk music pulsating with rawness, honesty, pain and passion. We are Ben Corry (vocals/guitar), Dominic Corry (guitar), Paul Worrall (bass) and Sam Parkinson (drums)

Tell us something about the project – are there any goals that you managed to achieve?

Benjamin Corry:  Me and Dom formed the band on the back of our old band breaking up. The whole mentality since we started has been to put everything together piece-by-piece and just see how far we can get. So with that in mind just managing to get the band together has felt like an achievement. The idea for The Battery Farm only came about towards the end of last year, but actually getting to the point of being able to have a functioning band feels like an achievement. That sounds well trite but it’s true. We played our first gig a couple of weeks ago, released our debut single on 15th June and played our first festival on 6th July (R-Fest in Manchester). That’s the kind of start I wanted for us and so that’s an achievement in itself. Things have started with a bang and looking at what we’ve got coming up it’s only going to get better.

Benjamin Corry photographed by Richard McCann
https://www.facebook.com/richard.mccann.739

What inspires you? What artist or genre had the biggest influence on you?

Benjamin Corry:  Our lives and the world we live in inspire us and drive our sound and our words. The songs me and Dom write are borne – both musically and lyrically – out of the sense of desperation we felt at the end of last year, when we’d just about had enough of everything. These songs are an aural lashing out at ourselves, at the rest of the world, at the human race, at politicians, at the sense of life closing in around us. Passion and fear and anger and joy and desire for something better are things that inspire us. Human stuff. In terms of artists we admire, bands like Idles, Evil Blizzard, Radiohead, Witch Fever, Nirvana and Sleaford Mods bleed into our sound. Idles in particular are doing something remarkable at the moment; I think they’re the most important band in the world. Their music is violent and frantic and pulverising but at the same time is laced with the most beautiful empathy and compassion. I think the world needs more of that. Kindness is magic.

Its all about the music – and we want to hear about your new single. Is there a story behind the song, where and how was it written?

Benjamin Corry:  “97/91” was actually written a couple of years ago. I stumbled upon an article about the murder of Suzanne Capper in the early 90s and the moral panic about it in the newspapers at the time. The article went into excruciating detail about what happened which stayed with me for months afterwards. One of the big factors in the story affecting me in the way it did was the fact that it happened in Moston, north Manchester, which is where I grew up. It sort of brought a horrific sense of reality to the whole thing – I know the street it happened on, I’ve walked past the houses, I’ve grown up with the area being a big part of my life. And it still informs a lot of my writing. To be able to envision it all so clearly made it all the more horrendous. That got me to thinking about why I reacted much more viscerally to this particular instance than I would have to the miserable horrors that go on across the world daily. The answer was because I’m familiar with the setting. It only felt real because I could see it. That is what “97/91” is about – that murder is a jumping-off point to explore the cognitive dissonance that is ingrained into people across the world that allows us to be passive in the face of the mass, grotesque violence going on in far-flung places every day. It’s a frightening, dystopian aspect of the human condition and it’s not generally something we’re aware we’re doing. I guess that’s the worst part. The song is a flailing at the worst things people are capable of. The world can be a fucking horror show, “97/91” is essentially a desperate scream in the face of it.

Are you touring? Where can we see you playing live?

Benjamin Corry:  We’re at Night & Day Café in Manchester on 2nd August, then it’s our first out of town gig at Sound in Liverpool on 28th September for Low Flying Records’ Musicians Against Homelessness weekender. Low Flying have basically put together a huge MAH Festival across Merseyside. We’re on the Saturday and we can’t wait. After that we’re playing at Whittles in Oldham on 24th October. We have a couple more really good ones to announce but we’re not at liberty to discuss them just yet.

If any bookers or promoters want to get in touch – what is the best way to contact you?

Benjamin Corry: E-mail us at batteryfarmband@gmail.com, or we’re on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as @hebatteryfarm

Imagine you can record an album with any artist, dead or alive in a studio of your choice. Who would be on your record?

Benjamin Corry: Elvis. Every time. I’m fascinated by him. That voice, that face, those eyes, that sheer, raw, uncontrollable presence and charisma. It’d be incredible to see what he could do with our songs and our sound. I doubt he’d like us to be honest, but this is my fantasy and in this universe Elvis bloody loves the punk rock.

The Battery Farm in their rehearsal room

You can follow The Battery Farm on social media:

https://www.facebook.com/thebatteryfarm/
https://twitter.com/TheBatteryFarm
https://www.instagram.com/thebatteryfarm/
https://thebatteryfarm.bandcamp.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChp93XaDBuXnmYQY-o2bhFg
https://open.spotify.com/artist/6qWGopTzUjeSYmsXyQ8RIr?si=DfhOPdjFRgugNDIkLVLuAA

That’s it. Here`s another band to add to our “Must See Bucket List”. And if you have a chance to catch them live – do so. With artists like The Battery Farm we are more than optimistic about the future of music, and even the universe.

M/R

Indieterria meets The Cosmics

Dear Readers,

The Cosmics has been shaping West Midlands music scene for three years now. They announced their arrival on the local scene with a punkadelic anthem “Johnny” and do not show any signs of slowing down. It does not happen often that so early in their career a band will achieve best of both worlds – cult status in their home town and respect of their musical peers.Ask anyone in West Midlands and they will tell you – The Cosmics are unlike any other band. Not only in sound but how quickly they progress from one stage to another, like they have found a secret formula to make it in the music business. We can only think of one other act in the last four years with such distinctiveness, influence and uniqueness – The Blinders.

This blog will be longer than others – that is because we wanted to do a proper introduction to the band. We interviewed them, we went to see them on their first European tour and gathered some press coverage of their debut EP.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the indie circuit – please meet a trio that will define the future of music in the UK – The Cosmics.

**** The interview ****

Before the band travelled abroad to play shows in The Netherlands, Belgium and France, we have sat down with bassist and vocalist Erin Grace to talk about the band`s Glastonbury appearance, their EP and working on exclusive pressings of their singles via Flying Vinyl. This is what Erin told us:

The Cosmics photographed by Psychedelic Eye
https://www.facebook.com/psychedelic.eye.photography

Many bands claim that they are as close as relatives. You don’t have to – you are one very talented family.  Please introduce yourself to the readers of Indieterria.

Erin Grace:  Thank you! We are Erin Grace (bass/vocals), Connor Boyle (guitar) and Danny Boyle (drums).

The Cosmics formed in 2015 and within one year gathered incredible support. In 2017 BBC Introducing invited you to play their stage at the biggest festival of all – Glastonbury. Tell us how do you remember that show?

Erin Grace:  Glastonbury was an unforgettable dream come true, it felt very surreal, being on stage, there was huge  feelings of excitement, it’s something we always dreamt of but never thought would happen when we first started the band.

Since Glasto you have been going from strength to strength – the list of your achievements is longer than  life span of many indie acts: rave reviews from Steve Lamacq and Hugh Stephens, radio play on BBC 1, BBC 6, Amazing Radio, Radio X, coverage from BBC Introducing West Midlands. You played Isle of Wight and Reading Festival.  Your ascent to veterans of indie circuit was swift. Do you feel overwhelmed by your own success?

Erin Grace:  We don’t feel overwhelmed by anything, we just appreciate every opportunity we’ve had and we’re grateful for this journey as a band.

You shared stages with Starcrawler, Surfbort, The Murder Capital, Goat Girl and Birmingham finest -Table Scraps. Its equivalent of playing in Premier League of Indie Circuit. Do you book your own shows or do you prefer to use agents or external promoters?

Erin Grace: It depends what kind of show we’re going for, we love DIY shows and we also use promoters that suit us. Sometimes we book our own shows, though if we’re supporting a band or playing outside of Birmingham, we use promoters.

We have to ask you about your unique stage dress code: vintage dresses or costumes inspired by 60s and 70s have become your trademark. You have also been included in Fred Perry Subculture series.  How important is stage attire to you and was this aspect of your shows something that you wanted to explore?

Erin Grace:  Outfits are relatively important, they can express a mood or an era, we all love vintage fashion too so it just feels natural to wear what we love.

Your debut single “Johnny” came out in 2017 on Flying Vinyl – a company specializing in limited releases on vinyl. You returned to working with them last year when you took part in Flying Vinyl`s first compilation “Paranoid Futures”.  We would love to hear how your collaboration began?

Erin Grace:  Flying Vinyl approached us a few years ago when “Johnny” first came put and ever since, we love what they do!

The Cosmics ready for action – photography by Jessica H_Ingram
https://www.facebook.com/jessicahingramphotography

You just released your debut EP. It was recorded by Rory Attwell (Palma Violets, The Vaccines) and produced by Andy ‘Hippy’ Baldwin (Sundara Karma, The Orb, Blur, Oasis). You got to work with some established names. Where was it recorded and how long it took for the EP to be finished?

Erin Grace:  The EP was released on 13th June and we recorded it all in London, we went to record on few separate occasions over the course of a year so each song was written at a different time.

You also launched the EP in London. How did that go?

Erin Grace:  The EP launch went better than we expected, it was great having our friends on the line up. The show was a lot of fun and The Old Blue Last is a great venue.

The record is promoted by single “Eyes” and a very curious video. Cyclops on skateboards. Please tell us where did you film the video. Some part of it look like Digbeth. Who directed it?

Erin Grace:  We filmed everything for the “Eyes” music video in Birmingham, some bits in the city centre and others in suburban areas. Our drummer Danny directed it and filmed the video.

Before “Eyes”, you released “Trust Is Blind”.  We really want to know the story behind this song. In the video you look like a character from Lynch movie – you smile to the camera and yet the viewer has a feeling that any given moment you will break into tears. Then in a blink, you charge on stage where you tear down the decorations in a  fury that would suit Courtney Love at the heights of her Hole days. Like to keep your viewers on their toes?

Erin Grace:  “Trust is Blind” surrounds themes of betrayal and dishonesty, it’s about trust being broken. Yeah, we wanted to add twist into this track, we enjoy experimenting with noise.

We are hearing that the EP has been selling well and you got played on legendary American radio KEXP. So where do The Cosmic go from here? Any plans for the future?

Erin Grace:  We plan to keep gigging in cities and countries we’ve never played before and we’ll continue to make new music!

You can follow the band on their socials:

https://www.facebook.com/thecosmicsband
https://twitter.com/thecosmicsband
https://www.instagram.com/thecosmicsuk/
https://thecosmicsuk.bandcamp.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx3KjGaX2RJvXI5e7nljvGA
https://soundcloud.com/user-838453312
https://open.spotify.com/artist/0aocL5HcJzJlZJtAZH6caL?si=OYgzbMbGTZ-TwFXsFRmQ7Q

 

 **** The EP ****

The Cosmics presenting cover and the vinyl of their debut EP

The self titled debut EP has gathered rave reviews across the industry. These are just some of the reactions that we have gathered for the purpose of this blog. There are many more out there ranging from big established brands (The Clash Magazine) to local newspapers and blogs (Birmingham Review, Independent Music News), radio stations (Brum Radio, BBC West Midlands, BBC Introducing). The EP received airplay from Steve Lamacq (BBC 6 Music), Huw Stephens (BBC Radio 1), X Radio, Amazing Radio, KEXP in US among others. No management, no booker, no label or radio plugger. Just the strength of their music.

Front cover of the EP and A side of the vinyl pressing.

The Clash Magazine:
“New cut “Eyes” is a short, sharp shock, driven by that urgent vocal and those taut guitar lines. The sound of The Cosmics thrashing away in the unholy night, it carries some uncanny reverberations. Tune in now.”
https://www.clashmusic.com/news/the-cosmics-rev-it-up-on-eyes

Circuit Sweet:
“Lead single “Eyes”, taken from the self-titled record,  perfectly encapsulates the kind of 60’s beat that The Cosmics perform with such perfect refrain before collapsing almost entirely into a much more modern take on the garage-fuzz sound. Addictively catchy, the band walk the line between surf and noise effortlessly while showcasing a raw talent for song writing”.
https://circuitsweet.co.uk/2019/04/brand-new-garage-fuzz-from-birminghams-the-cosmics-debut-ep-announced-for-june/

The vinyl pressing of the EP

The 405:
“On this release they’ve perfectly captures the debauchery of their live performances”
https://www.thefourohfive.com/music/article/the-cosmics-capture-the-youthful-grit-and-glamour-of-their-sound-in-the-video-for-eyes-405-premiere-155

Backseat Mafia:
“The thing about The Cosmics is they’ve mastered sounding like they’re from the 60s girl band sound, strained through a messy, edgy garage punk filter. That’s because they have the melodies at heart that could have made it onto a classic soul all-nighter, but instead of organ and bass, they’ve got this frayed guitar sound that leaks feedback and lashes itself to the track. Brilliant stuff.”
http://www.backseatmafia.com/track-the-cosmics-drained/

Travellers Tunes:
“The immediacy of the record is undeniable. Singer Erin Grace co-opts a Shangri-La’s vocal for the verse before effortlessly sliding into a furious punk rock delivery in the chorus.”
https://travellerstunes.com/review/thecosmics-drained

Back cover of the EP and B side of the vinyl pressing.

**** The Tour ****

Before going abroad, The Cosmics played dates in Birmingham, London, Glasgow and Manchester.  As we had to go to continental Europe for a bit ourselves, we have decided to catch up with the band on the road and bring you an exclusive coverage of their gigs though videos and photos. This is what we have found and you can judge for yourselves that The Cosmics had a lot of fun! Tours can be great!

Tour poster

On 20th of June, The Cosmics travelled to Ghent in Belgium to participate in Girls Go Boom, a one day festival organised at a popular Muziekcentrum KinkyStar. Located in the historical (and tourist) city centre of Ghent, the venue has a capacity of 80 people and is known for supporting independent and emerging acts, not only local to Belgium but also from all over the world. In the last two years, nearly 100 bands from Europe, Canada, USA and Australia played at the Kinky Star and majority of their shows are sold out. Manchester darlings, WITCH FEVER (whom we have seen recently at the Albert Square during Manchester International Festival alongside The Pagans SOH and The Blinders) performed for Girls Go Boom in October 2018 and completely blew the audience away. We had a pleasure to speak to one of the organisers of the festival and we were told that the team are big fans of indie/post punk music from the UK. The Cosmics were chosen as their songs caught the team’s eye (and the ear as well) while browsing the newest releases on BandCamp. It is worth adding that Girls Go Boom book only female fronted and fully female bands (including LGBTQ+ artists who identify as females). They are the only promoter in Belgium who does it and their shows comes with a set of quite obvious rules. They include no homophobia, no racism and no sexism, girls in the front, safe space for sexual and racial minorities and no patriarchal bullshit. Everyone is cordially invited  – men, women, non binary or gender fluid persons. Their motto is “It doesn’t matter who you are, you will always be among friends”. We can only applaud their initiative as it was one of the nicest, safest shows we have seen in a long time. The venue was packed to the last place, everybody danced (and pogo’ed), drank beer, sang and had a lovely time. And there was no pushing, no shouting, no aggression, the photographers could work uninterrupted without fear of having their equipment destroyed. Every gig goer received a complimentary badge at the door and the entry was free. We need something similar in the UK as some of the gigs we go to are a parade for bullies and football hooligans. Organisations such as Safe Gigs For Women are doing a splendid job but there is a long road ahead of us.

The Cosmics performed alongside Piss KittiVaginas, what else?, Dragon’s Daughters, DJ’s MOSHI MOSHI and Melissa Juice. Their show started exactly at 22:00 CET (21:00 UK time) and lasted about 40 minutes. The band played their recent singles “Trust Is Blind” and “Eyes” along with fan favourites: “Cundy Come Down” and “Brainfuzz” taken off their self titled debut EP. “Velma”, “Johnny”, “I Quit” and “Inishfree” filled the rest of the set.

It was wild and energetic ride, filled with solid dose of sound distortion and vibrations. Lead singer, Erin Grace, is known for her expressive performance and we could see her falling to her knees, bashing the strings of her bass like her life depended on it and move as in a trance. Twin brothers, Conor (guitar) and Danny Boyle (drums) were closely following Erin’s trail with thunderous beat and aggressive riffs. And the crowd loved every minute of the spectacle, responding with admiration to each song. At the end, the Birmingham based trio received a standing ovation and many cheers for the show. Judging by the reactions, The Cosmics have bright future in front of them. If you haven’t seen them yet, please do as they are on rise and soon they will be playing big stages instead of intimate venues.

 

You can learn more about Kinky Star at: http://www.kinkystar.com/media.php
and Girls Go Boom Festival at: https://www.girlsgoboom.com/0

The performance was live streamed on Kinky’s Star website and you can watch it at: https://www.facebook.com/MuziekcentrumKinkyStar/videos/487192875376482/

Two days later, on 21st of July, we met with the band again, this time in Antwerp. They were about to play another EU show at an independent venue called Cafe Cabron. Sadly, we couldn’t stay for the gig itself, but we have taken them for a small photo shoot around the beautiful The Grote Markt of Antwerp. It is so easy to fall in love with The Cosmics. They come as a full package – not only their music is a killer, but they have the looks, the talent and confidence that will take them far.

The show has been organised by Zing Zang Zong and was to start at 9:00 pm.
The Cosmics were to be supported by Belgian duo, De Batteries.
Form what we have heard – it was another success for the band, but that is a standard outcome for the Birmingham trio.

More information about the gig:
https://www.facebook.com/events/858188711217531/
https://www.facebook.com/zzzgarageclub/
https://www.facebook.com/CafeeCabron/

We are hoping to catch the band at another show this tour so watch out this space for additional content and more compliments regarding the band. If you still haven`t noticed West Midlands has the best scene and we are so happy to be part of it.

See ya down the front? You bet!

M/R

Indieterria Review – Membranes and guests at Manchester Ritz

The Membranes, HENGE, Queen Zee, LIINES, The Pack (Theatre Of Hate) and Glove
Saturday, June 8, 2019
O2 Ritz, Manchester

Membranes fans are probably the most patient fans in the world. It took four long years for the band to return with the follow up to their excellent “Dark Matter/Dark Energy ” album. The new release entitled “What Nature Gives…Nature Takes Away” was finally released on the 7th of June and to commemorate this occasion, John Robb  & Co, booked a home-coming gig. They didn’t invite just one or two support acts. Instead, they have brought a full mini festival to the O2 Ritz.

Glove, a duo consisting of artists Slosilver and Stephanie Finegan opened the night with their energetic set. Many bands are called the next big thing, but Glove definitely deserve this title. Both artists were true firecrackers on stage. Matching outfits and colourful make up only added up to their appeal, but it was their music that made a huge impression on everyone. It’s very hard to classify their sound: there is punk rock, ska, indie, elements of grrlpower movement from the 90’s. From several styles, they create an unique combination that is truly their own. Gloves released their debut EP on May 4th and we had the pleasure of listening to it in its entirety.

 

 

The Pack (Theatre of Hate) were next on stage and their classic, uncompromising punk rock was greeted with delight by the public and massive moshpit formed to test the bouncy floor at the Ritz. I was equally delighted to see many young faces in the crowd wearing fan hawks and studded jackets. Indeed, punk’s not dead. Watching the band from the press pit (for the first time in my life) gives the reviewer a bit of a different perspective and at the same time I can tick this off my bucket list. Press review? Done! Light and sound at the Roskilde festival for the Sweedish death band band? Done! Taking pictures in the pit? Done as well! In the end, my pictures turned not very good and I had to rely on my pit partner in crime, Neil Winward. He kindly donated several excellent shoots of his own for this reviw and I’m very grateful!

You can follow Neil’s photography page at: https://www.facebook.com/neilwinwardphotography/

 

Added at the 11th hour, all female group, the LIINES are going from strength to strength. The band consists of  Zoe McVeigh (vocals, guitar), Tamsin Middleton (bass) and Leila O’Sullivan (drums). On Saturday, they played their best show yet. If you haven’t seen them live, you are committing a crime. Loud, bold and perfect in every detail, the trio easily proved that they are a force to be reckoned with. Their next gig in Manchester will take place on 17th of July at Festival Square, so book your seat in the front row!

 

I was looking forward to seeing Queen Zee for months after reading enthusiastic reviews on the internet and I wasn’t disappointed. Queen arrived in a blaze of glory and red light. Their set was built on powerful riffs, glam rock extravaganza and endless energy. There was a good deal of tongue-in-cheek humour between the songs that brightened the seriousness of their lyrics. My only complaint? Their show was too short and demands for “one more song” saw the band off stage and into the green room.

 

Next act, HENGE were something out of this world. Literally. They didn’t even pretend to be human. In fact, they travelled the universe in the name of rave to teach mankind to love, dance and take care of trees. The lead singer, Zhor wore a cape, voice modulator and plasma ball hat. The rest of the band consisted of  Grok, a human synthesiser player, Nom, the frog drummer and Goo, Venusian refugee on the keyboard. Henge are definitively a party band serving a convincingly alien mixture of rave, ABBA inspired disco, psychedelic rock with some heavy use of cowbell in certain songs. Despite their weirdness, everyone loved them and their merch stand welcomed a large crowd after the gig.

 

The final act for the night, the Membranes were greeted by a massive cheer from the gig goers when they finally appeared on the scene around 20:30 pm. As promised, the band were accompanied by a 10 piece BIMM Manchester choir conducted by Claire Pilling. I have seen Membranes play at the Alphabet Brewery in December 2018 and I thought they were excellent back then, but they sounded and looked even better now. They were like a fantastically oiled machine: well tuned in, strong and surprising. The show started with ” The Universe Explodes Into A Billion Photons Of Pure White Light”, followed by “Dark Energy” and “Do the Supernova” that sent the audience into a frenzied pogo. The new album was also well represented with “A Strange Perfume”, “Black Is the Colour” and the title track “What Nature Gives… Nature Takes Away”. It was one of the best gigs (or mini festivals) I have attended this year and the next show better be earth-shattering as the bar has been set very high indeed.

 

Vanadian Avenue would like to thank The Membranes and John Robb, Claire Pilling and the rest of the Manchester punk community for the opportunity to film and review the gig and for the great time they offered. A big thank you to Neil Winward for his pictures and to Shauna McLarnon from Shameless Promotion for her kind words and assistance. Thank you so much!

Special shout out to the lovely people from AF gang (IDLES community) who took me under their wings. All is love!

Rita Dabrowicz